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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To any owners of the Dish 6000: I have a Sony KP53HS10 RPTV with 1080i/480p capability. Wanting to get into HDTV, I purchased the Dish 6000 receiver and had the two requisite dishes installed and so far, I am extremely disappointed with the non-availibility of HD programming and furthermore, I seem to be having a problem in receiving the Showtime HD channel in anything but 4x3! When the Sony receives a 1080i signal, it locks into the 16x9 mode, and when I view the Dish HD demo channel, I get the full 16x9 HD picture in all its glory, but how many times can one watch this? I then signed up for the Showtime movie package which has one HD channel and all I have seen so far on this channel is movies in 4x3 with very average picture quality. So my question is why aren't these films being shown in 16x9 rather than in 4x3? Surely most of these movies are in 1:85 aspect ratio, so why aren't they in widescreen? Is it that their upconverted transfers are shown in 4x3 and only their true HD transfers are shown in 16x9 or what? Also, I'm wondering if I signed up for the wrong movie package. Does HBO have more HD than Showtime? And finally, in the set-up menu for HD on the Dish 6000 receiver, there is an "aspect ratio" option but it doesn't work. What is this supposed to do and when will Dish activate this control?

All-in-all, I am regretting my purchase of this system since my only chance of seeing any HD programming is via satellite. In Wichita, Ks, there is NO OTA HD programming and probably won't be until Methusla has another birthday!
 

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Part of your problem id that you have a 4x3 set that locks into 16x9 mode for HD sources. Dish has more HD programming than DirecTV. That said please check out this link. I receive email every day with all HD programming for the next day. Please also read your manual in helping you to understand the "*" key. I would watch all material except for HD in regular 480i (supervideo connection).

http://www.ilovehdtv.com/hdtvmagazine/menu.html



Dave



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Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!
 

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Bill,


I have to wonder if you did any research prior to your purchase. Do you know what is available on HD HBO and HD Showtime? You might want to go to their web sites and look at how much HD each channel offers. Both have some 4:3 content. HBO does have more HD content than Showtime, but HBO butchers HD 2.35 movies to 1.85 while Showtime believe in OAR and shows HD movies in their correct aspect ratio.


Regarding your regret over the Dish 6000 receiver, what else would you prefer to get? If you saw the Dish Tech Forum chat tonight and had read some previous threads on the 6000 you'd know that with the next software upgrade you will have full aspect control for 16x9 sets and 4:3 sets with and without vertical compression. Even with a 720p/1080i signal you'll have aspect control. No other STB that I'm aware of will have this capability. Are you sure you want to get rid of the 6000?
 

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HBO-HD does indeed have far more HD programming than Showtime-HD. Showtime should be criticized for that. I was going to sign up for Showtime-HD but when I saw how slim their HD schedule was, I balked. When they start showing a decent amount of HD, I'll sign up. Here is a good place to see what HD programming is available:
http://hdtvgalaxy.com/broad.html

As you can see, CBS & HBO are the HD superstars. If I were you, I'd call up E* and cancel Showtime & add HBO. (or just add HBO if you want both) But definitely get HBO before showtime
 

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Jerry,


I don't think the "zoom" modes in the next Dish software update will help him with the Sony. I could be wrong but I think the Sony automatically goes into the 16x9 mode when it receives a 1080i signal. For this reason wouldn't the new aspect ratio control only work in the 16x9 window? Just curious.


On another topic...any information as to what features the next Dish HD STB will have? I would love to see a new guide/menu system and a "variable" mode like the new Sony and Panasonic STB's.


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jerry: Thanks for your response. You say that Showtime shows movies in the original aspect ratio, but I don't know of any theatrical films being released today using 1:33. Most, if they are not "scope" are in 1:85, so how do you explain the 4x3 on showtime HD? IF HBO is "butchering" 2:35 films to 1:85 for broadcast, at least they are attempting to give a "widescreen" presentation. You mentioned a software upgrade from Dish enabling the "aspect ratio" control. Just when is this supposed to take place? And, I'm wondering why Dish couldn't make available on their 61.5 sat a CBS feed so we out here in the boonies could get their HD programming?

Note to GScott: You are right, the Sony locks into the 16x9 mode when it receives a 1080i signal. The Dish 6000 has 5 "stretch-zoom" modes when viewing 4x3 programming on a 16x9 TV, but as fas as I know this is just for non-HD material. I've never considered any of these stretch/zoom modes acceptable for viewing anything. That's why I went with a 4x3 TV which displays HD in a "letterbox" format. At least everything is normally proportioned.
 

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Scott,


I believe that with the next upgrade, a 4:3 set with vertical compression will have the same aspect modes for SD and HD signals as a 16:9 set. Aspect modes will be different for 4:3 sets without vertical compression.


Yes, sets lock into 16:9 mode with a 720p or 1080i signal, regardless of the actual content. With the next software upgrade, you'll be able to have all sorts of aspect control from within the Dish 6000 while the set is still in 16:9 mode. That's the beauty of the upgrade. I'm not that familiar with how 720/1080i signals (SD and HD content) appear on the various 4:3 sets (I've got a 16:9 set), but I'd imagine there would be aspect modes to satisfy every user.



William,


Original aspect ratio has to do with how a movie was released theatrically. It doesn't mean any specific ratio. If Showtime shows a movie that's supposed to be 2.35, that's how Showtime will broadcast it. HBO will convert a 2.35 movie to 1.85/1.78. HBO will alter the content of the movie to fill the 16:9 screen. That's not how I, and others, want to view a 2.35 movie. I'd rather watch the DVD in OAR than the altered HBO version of the same movie. With Showtime, I can see a 2.35 movie as 2.35. It's that simple, IMHO.


Jerry
 

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William;


Make sure you catch a repeat of the "Tech Forum" that aired tonight; they go in-depth explaining the 6000 and the different aspect ratios that Showtime, etc. broadcast in.


Although, if you only wanted one premium, go for HBO. I have the Everything Pack, and it's not even close. I watch HBO more than the other three premiums combined.


Rich
 

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(OT alert)


equack, I'm just curious why you prefer Showtime. Better movies, better originals, or what? Besides Queer as Folk, I don't really watch anything on Showtime (out of the four premiums, IMO Showtime has the worst lineup of movies; hell, I've watched movies on Encore more often!). I did watch the Outer Limits, it's a shame they did away with it.


Just curious, not knocking your preference or anything.


Rich
 

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I had both SHowtime and HBO. I wound up dropping Showtime. If your looking for 16x9 HD material, HBO is the way to go. IMHO
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by William R. Moore:
And, I'm wondering why Dish couldn't make available on their 61.5 sat a CBS feed so we out here in the boonies could get their HD programming?
I don't think they are allowed to do that anymore, that is offer a raw network feed or pick a local station and use it as a national feed. That's why we are forced into these local pacakges and some people living between two markets don't get any.


If you want more HDTV, go with HBO. Showtime has a very poor offering.
 

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I actually end up watching more on Showtime. Showtimes Stargate SG1 is my favorite show on telvision. HBO has HD all day long but I never watch except evenings. In the evenings Showtime has just as much HD as HBO, however about 50% of Showtime's HD is upconverted. I do find I like the shows on Showtime more than HBO but I like them both.


Just my opinion.


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To: Jerry G.: I think you contradicted yourself when you said that "Original aspect ratio has to do with how a movie was released theatrically, it doesn't mean any specific ratio." Sorry, ole buddy but I beg to differ. It DOES mean a specific ratio! Most films today are released and projected in either 1:85 or 2:35. Due to various cropping techniques used by filmakers when shooting, or by theatres when projecting there are always variances in these formats. The 16x9 HD aspect ratio is 1:78 which means that this picture is slightly less in height than a 1:85, so I suspect that when a 1:85 picture is transferred to HD for broadcast, a slight amout of cropping is necessitated to make it fit in the 16x9 or 1:78 window. This would not be unlike what is done in theatres when aperture plates in projectors are filed and cut to make the projected image fit the screen size down front. There is always a certain amount of cropping that takes place somewhere in the chain or in more than one place in the chain. Before the advent of "widescreen" films, only one mainstream aspect ratio was used, which became known as the "Academy Ratio" or 1:33. This ratio is very similar to the standard NTSC TV screen size, or 4x3.

I, too, agree that I want to see films shown in their "original" aspect ratio and that's why I was complaining when I saw a 4x3 sized picture right in the middle of my 16x9 v-compressed window on Showtime, which was "window-boxed" on all 4 sides! At the very least, the width of the picture, assuming it was 1:85, should have taken up all the width in my HD picture area. I just don't understand why Showtime does this. I watched the rebroadcast of the "Tech Talk" tonight and viewed their "aspect ratio" video and I still don't get it. By the way, I was hoping that they might have made an announcement regarding that "AR" feature in the HD menu but they didn't. It seems like having caller ID on your screen is more important to those guys. Just when is Dish supposed to offer these aspect ratio options anyway? One other question: supposedly Discovery is supposed to be broadcasting in HD at some point. When might that be? Thanks, Bill M.
 

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HBO-HD does indeed have far more HD programming than Showtime-HD. Showtime should be criticized for that.


In the Techtalk, a Showtime exec was whining that they can't get any HD material from Hollywood because of "digital security" concerns. I fell off the couch when he said that Showtime has the best upconvert facilities in the world resulting in the best HD ! If HBO can get the HD material, why can't Showtime ?


I do agree with him on digital security. Until it gets resolved, HD content will remain sparse. We should support 5C (copy once) on 1394. Dubbing is not a necessity for most consumers.
 

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William, ole buddy, I think we're basically saying the same thing about OAR. Yes a movie is basically released in a specific ratio. And I do understand that sometimes a 1.85 movie may be altered to 1.78.


When I said that Showtime shows movies in their OAR, I was obviously referring to those movies available in widescreen. Both HBO and Showtime show some movies in 4:3 on their HD channels. That's just the way it is for now. Perhaps someday, all content on the HD channels will be widescreen. But at this time, HBO and Showtime have elected to mirror their main non HD channels on the HD channel. If they have a given movie in widescreen, then they will show it. Otherwise, they show the same 4:3 version that's playing on their non HD channel.


I quickly got used to viewing 4:3 material in a stretch mode. It doesn't bother me for most casual viewing and that's how I look at most 4:3 material. If I was watching a 4:3 movie such as Casablanca, I would watch in 4:3 and wouldn't stretch it. I do understand that many don't like the appearance in stretch mode.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by William R. Moore:
The 16x9 HD aspect ratio is 1:78 which means that this picture is slightly less in height than a 1:85, so I suspect that when a 1:85 picture is transferred to HD for broadcast, a slight amout of cropping is necessitated to make it fit in the 16x9 or 1:78 window.
This statement is incorrect. 1.78 is not less in height than 1.85, it's the other way around. Since 1.85 has less height than 1.78, no cropping is necessary. Thin black bars are added at top and bottom to fill the 1.78 frame.


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STOP HDCP/DFAST/5C
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tm22721:
HBO-HD does indeed have far more HD programming than Showtime-HD. Showtime should be criticized for that.


In the Techtalk, a Showtime exec was whining that they can't get any HD material from Hollywood because of "digital security" concerns. I fell off the couch when he said that Showtime has the best upconvert facilities in the world resulting in the best HD ! If HBO can get the HD material, why can't Showtime ?



HBO has their own transfer facilities, two HD telecine rooms last I heard and their own production facility. Showtime is strictly a playback facility. Security is an issue but also is the cost of the transfer. HBO does it in house, Showtime must rely on the studio vaults and the studios aren't transferring much to HDTV because nobody wants to pick up the tab. The cost is about $80,000 per feature for an HD transfer.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn_L:
I have no problem with black bars on the screen. If Showtime or HBO shows 2:35 movies on the HD channel, I hope they do not cut them down to 1:78.


Glenn

Unfortunately, that is exactly what HBO does. If a movie has an OAR (original aspect ratio) of 2.35, HBO will create a 1.78/1.85 transfer. With a 2.35 Panavision movie, this necessitates removing part of the picture. If the movie is filmed in Super35, it is possible to open the mattes vertically and show extra material (not originally intended to be seen) on the top and bottom and not lose side information. A Super35 could also be pan and scanned to 1.78 with lose of picture information. HBO's explanation for doing this is that an in house survey demonstrated objections to the black bars, so HBO elected to eliminate them by altering the original content of a 2.35 movie.


Showtime does NOT alter 2.35 movies and will present them as 2.35. The Showtime rep on the Tech Forum this week reaffirmed Showtime's position on this issue and felt that this is what the consumer wants on their HD channel.


Needless to say, I agree with Showtime and am strongly opposed to HBO's butchering approach to 2.35 movies.
 

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William R. Moore said:
Quote:
I still am wondering when Dish is going to enable that "aspect ratio" option in the set-up menu for HD. On that Tech forum they displayed an HD set-up screen that was very unlike the one that my 6000 displays. Among other things, the menu screen that they showed included options for selecting what type of TV screen the user has (i.e. 4x3 or 16x9). Mine has no such option.


I believe I answered this question earlier in this thread. The next software upgrade will provide the options you saw demonstrated on the Tech Forum. As to when it will be released, Dish will release it when they feel it is as bug free as possible and when they have finished adding whatever other features/bug fixes they need to add to the software. I'll guess that the release is still a number of weeks away. Hope this helps.
 

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HBO HD appears to be modifying their "16x9 for everything" policy. There have been a few 2.35:1 movies recently, most notably the two "Ghostbusters" movies. There have been others, but I can't remember them now.


Way to go HBO! (Plus, they seem to have their DD5.1 problems fixed, no?)
 
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